(VitalNews.org) – Shocking footage taken by a local resident shows a two-story home crumbling into the overflowing Mendenhall River after flood waters had swept away the house’s foundations. The home in Juneau, Alaska, can be seen tipping forwards as its foundations are quickly eroded, its roof coming away from the walls before the whole structure disintegrates and is carried away by the swollen river.
Sam Nolan, who captured the dramatic scene, told reporters that the event was sad to see, but there was nothing locals could do to stop the destructive power of the floods. The flooded river went on to sweep away an adjacent 3-story building in a similar manner a short time later, although this was not captured on the video.
Alaska’s capital city has suffered floods after glacial meltwater caused record-breaking water levels in the Mendenhall River, which peaked at 14.97 feet on Saturday, August 5. The previous record was 11.99 feet and was set in 2016. The flooding this time was especially large in scale due to a large outburst of glacial flooding from the nearby Suicide Basin. This icy, water-filled basin sits adjacent to the Mendenhall Glacier, and feeds the Mendenhall River. The Basin has been adding water to the Mendenhall River since 2011, but previously at lower levels. The weather service confirmed that this most recent flooding has impacted areas previously unaffected by the Suicide Basin.
Despite declaring an emergency on Sunday 6 August, city officials say that the worst of the flooding is over, as the Mendenhall River’s water level dropped to approximately 7 feet the day after it’s record-breaking high. Locals have been advised to stay away from the river and to take appropriate care near any unstable banks, as the area is still hazardous. Some fuel storage tanks and other dangerous materials have been affected by the flooding, and a number of roads were blocked by the water and its debris. The clean-up effort is well underway, with city employees working to clear the roads, and as of Sunday, most areas around Juneau had had their utilities restored.
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